Benefits of Triphala
Assists natural internal cleansing*
Gently maintains regularity*
Nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues*
Supports healthy digestion and absorption*
Triphala is most commonly known for its use as a gentle bowel tonic, being helpful in digestion, and supporting regular bowel movements. The combination of the three fruits has a synergistic effect to bolster many other systems as well. In addition to the GI tract, Ayurveda uses triphala churna to support healthy respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive, and nervous systems.1 Triphala has also been shown to be a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.2, 3 The three fruits involved in making triphala are also known for their individual effects:1
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis): Has a cooling effect that manages pitta, supporting the natural functions of the liver and the immune system.
Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica): Is particularly good for kapha, supporting the respiratory system as well as kapha accumulations in all systems.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula): Though having a heating nature, it is still good for all three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). Is known for its “scraping” effect, which removes toxins and helps maintain healthy levels of weight.
Triphala and Weight Loss
In conditions of excess weight, triphala can be used as part of a weight loss program that includes a healthy diet and exercise. Proper digestion and elimination are important factors in achieving long-term success in maintaining an optimal body weight. Triphala churna also promotes healthy eating habits and cravings by supplying the body with the full spectrum of natural tastes. By promoting healthy absorption and assimilation of nutrients, triphala keeps the body feeling properly nourished and balanced.
The 3 Fruits in Triphala
Triphala and Ayurveda: Traditional Uses
Triphala is recommended and used more often than any other Ayurvedic herbal formulation. It is popular for its unique ability to gently cleanse and detoxify the system while simultaneously replenishing and nourishing it. In Ayurvedic terms, triphala, used in moderation, is said to have a beneficial effect on all three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha. It is most well-known for its gentle effects on the bowels, improving peristalsis and cleansing toxic build up of wastes; but Ayurveda also views triphala as a nourishing supplement known for its ability to rejuvenate healthy tissues, allowing one to age gracefully.
The Caraka Samhita, one of the main texts of Ayurveda, describes Haritaki as the remover of disease and promotes haritaki and amalaki for rasāyana, or rejuvenation of the body.1, 11, 12
Triphala churna is also traditionally used as a tonic in hair and eye washes.
For those with sluggish digestion and build up of ama, triphala is said to kindle the digestive fire (deepana) and help improve digestion (pachana), allowing one to get the most nutrition from one’s dietary intake.1
Culturally, Haritaki is given the highest respect for restoring health. The Medicine Buddha is often depicted with a haritaki fruit held in his hand.1 It is said to give the blessing of long life, and along with amalaki and bibhitaki, will nurture you like a mother.13
A common amount to take would be two tablets (1000 mgs) before bed or upon rising in the morning. This can be a more convenient method, especially for those that travel a lot, have a shortage of time, or do not like the taste of triphala tea. Many Ayurvedic practitioners prefer to give their patients triphala tablets instead of triphala capsules as there is still some mild tasting of the herbs that occurs, sending signals to the digestive system, as explained above in the Triphala Tea section.